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Houston Breakthrough 1980-05
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Houston Breakthrough 1980-05 - Page 2. May 1980. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. April 19, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/5534/show/5505.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(May 1980). Houston Breakthrough 1980-05 - Page 2. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/5534/show/5505

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough 1980-05 - Page 2, May 1980, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed April 19, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/5534/show/5505.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough 1980-05
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date May 1980
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 32 page periodical
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Original Item Location http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 2
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name femin_201109_560ab.jpg
Transcript I:M>H*UM: THE VOLATILE VOTER The following report aired on All Things Considered (National Public Radio) in early April: It's the year of the volatile voter. They seem to change their minds each week. Every Tuesday night brings a different hero, and the traditional political maxims have been shattered with equal regularity. First, it was Senator Edward Kennedy who was viewed as the powerful hero who could have the Democratic nomination if he just asked for it. On the Republican side it was John Connally and Howard Baker, who were thought of as "most likely to succeed" against Ronald Reagan. And Reagan was called a political hemophiliac: scratch him and he'll bleed to death. Wrong. George Bush scratched him in Iowa and then he had momentum. Wrong. John Anderson was a joke. Wrong. And, finally, when the New York primaries rolled around, Carter had it all locked up. What is going on here? Why are people changing their minds from week to week? The experts, the pollsters, and the people who run campaigns are divided on the reasons for this year's voter volatility. Bob Squire who does TV ads for Carter says things look more volatile than they are. He remembers 1972 when Senator Edmund Muskie came out of the Florida primary in tatters, and went on to win the Illinois primary. But back in '72 the press wasn't covering primaries with the intense week-to-week scrutiny it does today. Back in '72 when Muskie won in Illinois nobody seemed to care. Says Squire, "Muskie kind of felled a tree in a forest that didn't have any cameras in it. Now we have this much tighter almost day-by-day coverage of all these campaigns. I think as a result you've got something that looks more like volatility because as it moves through different parts of the country, different candidates strike the voters in different ways. This country is not a homogeneous country; the states are very different. And yet there is a kind of tendency to look at all this as if it's almost sports reporting rather than political analysis. "I was talking to someone the other night about the fact that I think what ABC should do four years from now is to get rid of the political anchor people they use the nights of the elections and put Jim McKay up there instead. I think McKay is proper. He has that kind of dignified bearing and he could talk about how Teddy Kennedy did not do so well in school figures, but he's terrific at ice dancing. I think that kind of analysis would give us a better look at the whole structure and we wouldn't feel like we're getting all these ups and downs as we go through the whole process." Most campaign experts, however, think this is a particularly volatile year. Ronald Reagan's pollster says this is the most volatile year he's ever seen. In New Hampshire one-third of the Republican electorate changed its mind in the 14 days before the election. But nothing so befuddled the pollsters as Senator Kennedy's plummet in the polls after his entrance into the democratic presidential race. Here's Michael Keaghy, a Princeton professor and pollster for the New York Times: "One could see Kennedy's drop as one of the dirtiest tricks public opinion ever played on a major presidential candidate. Poll after poll for years showed Kennedy very strong, and then once the actual campaign began, that dropped. I suspect his own pollsters have been puzzled as to exactly how and why that happened and other analysts are, too." Kennedy's sudden recovery in New York and Connecticut was almost as unexpected as his fall from grace. Just a few days before the New York primary, the polls showed Carter leading by 20 points. But it was Kennedy who won by nearly 20 points. And Kennedy's pollster, Peter Hart, said a quarter million people made up their minds in the last day before the election. Hart believes the election this year allows that kind of last minute decision-making because there is no crusade this year like there was in the 60s or even early 70s. He believes that three things contributed to Carter's loss in Connecticut and New York: "First, people were not ready to settle yet for a Carter/Reagan race. Second, the announcement of an 18 percent inflation rate hurt the president. The third thing that really counted, I think, was the Shah. With the Iranian hostages being held, the rubber band of the American mind had been stretched so tight that all the sudden when they saw the Shah leaving for Egypt, you suddenly saw the rubber band snap. It was semi-farce that was going on. . . That we weren't controlling anything, that it was out of control." Hart believes that 1980 will continue to be a volatile year right up to November. "We're in a transitional age of American politics and we're really not talking about two different philosophies of government, where the voters sort of choose which direction we're going to go. But, in part, most of the Democrats and Republicans seem to be blurring the differences, rather than saying: here are two courses and America has to choose. So, consequently, without having a firm, fixed goal of society and understanding where we are, we're forced to choose between personalities, or we choose on a series of personal and petty single issue votes. So my guess is yes. 1980's going to be a very volatile year, and right to the end. If anybody takes the voters for granted, they're going to make a great mistake." It is a particular irony this year that the voters having narrowed their field of choice, don't like the choices they are left with. That's the view of Republican campaign consultant John Deerdorff, who worked for Howard Baker. "People are no longer as sure as they once were that government is very important to them, that the whole process of electing people to public office is very relevant to their lives, to the solution of the problems they find themselves confronted with all the time. So you combine this declining confidence in government as an institution with a clear lack of interest in the candidates. I think what you get is a week-to-week fluctuation in people's attitudes about which one is better than the other, or which one is a little bit better than the other, and the result of that is no one knows week to week what's happening." Ronald Reagan's pollster Richard Worthen points out that in states that allow crossover voting, huge numbers of Democrats have defected to the GOP ranks to vote for John Anderson and Ronald Reagan. Reagan has been particularly successful in attracting blue collar conservative Democrats. "We have very large numbers of 'Republican primary voters' who are Democrats. Thus, the stability that has been provided in the past by party loyalties is no longer there. As a result, you get very dramatic shifts as a result of the nature of the constituency itself." Democratic campaign consultant Joe Rothstein, who has done some work for Kennedy, thinks the volatility this year is as natural as a tidal wave after an earthquake. "We have an electorate that watches the news every night and pays attention to developments. The volatility of our world is influencing the volatility of the election process. When the economy goes from 10 percent inflation to 18 percent inflation in a few months time, or we go from a nation that's unable to get 50 hostages out of a foreign country, those generate volatile feelings in the voters' minds. And as situations get more dramatic and affect people's lives, small wonder you're getting volatility." BiiakUvuwgli May 1980 Vol. 5, no. 4 ADVERTISING Ailene English CIRCULATION Debra Thornton, Rose Wright COPY EDITORS Janice Blue, Gabrielle Cosgriff,Lynne Mutchler Victoria Smith, Rose Wright DESIGN David Crossley EDITORS Janice Blue, Gabrielle Cosgriff, David Crossley OFFICE Janice Blue, Rose Wright PHOTOGRAPHERS Daniel Bissonet, David Crossley, Theresa diMenno, Gary Allison Morey PRODUCTION Janice Blue, David Crossley Susan Hunnicut, Kathleen Packlick, Debra Thornton, Rose Wright PROOFREADER Gabrielle Cosgriff RADIO SHOW Nancy Lane Fleming and Rita Saylors, Co-hosts on KPFT-FM and production staff: Blanca Balderas, Gertrude Barnstone, Michelle Batchelder, Leslie Conner, Jack Drake, Stella Fleming, Marge Glaser, Karen Saylors SPECIAL PROJECTS Missy Hauge, Diane Rainosek, George Slanina TYPESETTERS Virginia Myers, Lynne Mutchler Second-class postage paid at Houston,Texas. Houston Breakthrough USPS 413130. is published monthly (except for the bimonthly issues of July/August and December /January) by the Breakthrough Publishing Company, 1708 Rosewood, Houston, TX 77004. Mailing address: P. 0. Box 88072 Houston, TX 77004. Tel. 713/526-6686 Subscriptions are $7 (one year), $13 (two years) and $18 (three years). Library and institutional rates are $15 (one year), $20 (two years) and $25 (three years). Newsstand and single copy rate is $1.00. This publication is on file at the International Women's History Archive in the Special Collections Library, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60201. POSTMASTER. Send form 3579 to Houston Breakthrough, P. 0. Box 88072, Houston, TX 77004. HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH